Spring Has Sprung

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When those first little green tops break through the soil I get so excited. Not only does it mean that spring is really here, but it also means there are a few short weeks to enjoy ramps. In case you are not familiar, ramps are essentially wild leeks, with a relatively mild garlic flavor and a bit more sweetness than their counterparts ...

“Okay, so there like onions, so what?” This was the first question I received when I excitedly showed off my prized purchase yesterday, and I was actually a little surprised that not everyone was as crazy excited as I was.

I was first introduced to ramps in culinary school, where our chef grew them in his own garden, and the first time I eat them, in a fresh pasta, I knew I would look forward to these delicate little half scallion half leeks every year. Not to make too big of a deal about them, but I have heard the excitement for ramp season described as “the kind of fervor associated with the naming of a new pope.” Some of which comes from just the limited time they available, but also their flavor which is earthy, oniony, with just a hint of truffle. And as you may have guessed by this post, the season is right now.

Best cooked simply in a bit of olive with salt and pepper, I actually like them dressed the same way then thrown on a hot grill for just a few minutes. They are ready to go on their own or a suggestion that was made to me years ago that I keep going back to is using the grilled ramps as a burger topping. But they are incredibly versatile and there are recipes all over the internet from pizza and sauces and risotto to being pickled or thrown in with eggs of almost any make-up. But no matter how you try them, I urge you to do it, and do it soon. They will only be in store for another few short weeks.